Bean Export: Local Farmers Still Struggle In Plummeted Market

25 May 2018

Bean and pulses merchants and farmers are still struggling with lower prices although India reopens the import during this month.

India is the main buyer of Myanmar beans and pulses with 70% of export for over 20 years.

In August last year, India announced restriction on the import of beans and pulses from Myanmar, and it plummet the local market. The price of mung beans and pigeon peas dropped to 370,000 and 350,000 kyats respectively per ton which previously priced at around 800,000 to 900,000 kyats.

In early May, India announced that 150,000 tons of mung bean and green grams will be imported again on May 4 and 200,000 tons of pigeon peas on May 11. Since the announcement, the prices were raised up to 490,000 kyat for 1 ton of mung bean and 480,000 kyat for pigeon peas.

But it stills affects the farmers as the announcement was made only after the cultivation season.

Secretary, Myanmar Pulses, Beans & Sesame Seeds Merchants Association, Min Ko Oo said “The restriction has threatened the merchants last year and the lowered price threatens the farmers this year. Pigeon peas are cultivated in January, green grams in February and mung beans at the end of March and India didn’t release the announcement till the end of March. It was released in May but with a lot of restrictions.”

Myanmar exported over 140,000 tons of pulses in 2016-2017 FY and the earning is 1.3 billion US dollars. In 2017-2018 FY, over 130,000 tons were exported but the earning is around 700 million US dollars.

Secretary, Myanmar Pulses, Beans & Sesame Seeds Merchants Association, Min Ko Oo said “We tried to export more volume to other countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Siri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and Dubai. Last year, over 200,000 tons of mung beans and 80,000 tons of pigeon peas were exported. We can export to many other countries but the demand is low as pulses are not their main food. We need to switch crops to meet the market needs but farmers are still struggling to be adaptable to change.”

The issue also affected the foreign income of the country and the government and merchants association are working together to stabilize the market.